Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lastly, a club climbing from Third Division to the Second:
meet Avtomobilist (Nalchik), Second in the Russian Federation Championship in 1972. Which was Third Division level then. Nothing to brag about… some club with strange name – ‘Avtomobilist’ means, loosly, ‘an automobile racer’, which in Soviet understanding most likely really meant affiliation with transportation firm. The name did not last – soon it was changed to Spartak.
The club represented one more example of ‘limbo’ teams: too strong for 3rd Division and too weak for the Second, Spartak moved constantly up and down. Different life started after the collapse of USSR – suddenly the boys from Nalchik found themselves quite high: in the First Division during 1992 - but relegated; climbing again in 1995 – and down again the next season; until 2005, when after winning again promotion they managed to survive and continued playing First Division football. So far.